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M-Audio Torq is out

Discussion in 'General DJ Forum' started by nem0nic, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. nem0nic

    nem0nic Forum Member

    Messages:
    870
    Sticker Drift Test

    I want to apologize beforehand for the fact that the only video camera I have is a cameraphone. The image quality is pretty bad, but let me explain what I did and how I set it up.

    I wanted to test how "absolute" the Torq absolute mode was. The best way I could think of to test this was to physically mark the vinyl and see if I could make it correspond with a specific event in an MP3. So what I did was load a little sample that I made (a simple loop with the "AHHHHH" sample in it about 45 seconds in) and loaded that MP3 into boh decks in Torq.

    I then took a small piece of tape and set up an old school "locked groove" - an angled piece of tape set so that it would knock the needle back to the start of the groove every rotation. Yes, I am ****ing old.

    In the video below, I show you this mark and that it corresponds to the right point in the song (the AHHH sample). It loops for a bit, then I pan over to show the display scrolling and jumping in time to the audio.

    I then move the needle into the record and do a few needle drops. What I'm trying to do here is clear out the buffer. I then move the needle back to the locked groove and show that it's still skipping at the same point it did before.

    Next, I show you that the same sample is playing on the other deck using unmarked vinyl. Sorry it took me so long to get to the sample. Once I get there, I remove the unmarked record and bring my marked record over to that side. I needle drop and let it play until it gets to the locked groove. You can see that it correctly skips at the same place it did in the other deck.

    So what this tells us is that absolute mode is really absolute, and that a point on the timecode vinyl always corresponds to a specific point in the song. This can be good or bad (good for visual reference - as the Conectiv vinyl is marked by a visual groove every minute, and bad because a skip or cue burn cant be mapped away from using an offset.

    I did this test for the more scratch oriented DJs out there. As a more mix oriented DJ it really doesn't matter as much.

    http://www.nem0nic.com/absolute.wmv - for the video

    @ mal1ce
    I don't see any loop iteration counter like in TDJS.

    @crashup
    Great review. Let us know how a long term set plays out. I won't be able to do that kind of testing until next week.
     
  2. imianwilliams

    imianwilliams NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    999
    If you haven't seen this already, then watch this.

    http://www.gearwire.com/mov/MAudio_Torq.mov

    I've found a UK company who've got it in stock, but I'm going to hold on for a few days, as www.thomann.de are advertising it for about £40 less than the UK price. ....they just haven't got it in stock yet.
     
  3. PhilL

    PhilL Moderator Moderator

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    7,084
    The bar just got raised! Anyone interested in Torq needs to watch this video.

    As has been pointed out by several peeps when M-Audio get products out they very often do it well, this is no exception. It also clearly shows that they M-Audio were paying attention to the message boards of others and did their product research well. Torq definitely seems to have married the right blend of DJ-esque features with Ableton-esque features and done it in convincing style as the video shows.

    The effects and sampler design clearly show they got theirs right.
    I would bet there will be or has been quite some scrutiny of Torq, in the house of NI. As a new product, this seems to be an impressive contender, time will tell. For entry level vinyl control this should casuse concern for both FS and Serato, the price is certainly right, time will tell. I'll be keen to hear Craigs (and others) reports they have time.

    Phil
     
  4. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

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    2,337
    It certainly has a few features I've been wanting in Traktor for a while -- sampler, VST, Rewire. I'm betting they come out with a 4-deck version before too long. Maybe when they release their controller, or sell Torq as a standalone. I'm droolin' here.

    Hope NI is paying attention to this.
     
  5. Geqfreq

    Geqfreq Forum Member

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    122
    So I read on Pro DJ Forums that there are some bugs as expected with new soft. But overall the reviews looks quite convincing. I can wait. Like 2 c NI's response. So now will it start the battle of the (Pro Company) midi controllers...hmmm
     
  6. nem0nic

    nem0nic Forum Member

    Messages:
    870
    Torq Key Locking sucks with external control

    A question from the folks over at the SSL boards lead me to find a pretty major problem in the way Torq handles Key Locking when in external control modes.

    If you're in internal mode, Key Lock acts just as you think it would. It's actually on by default and you click the lock to turn it off.

    In external control mode, however, this behavior changes.

    When using a TT or CD to control the decks, pressing the key lock loads a key offset value into the Key display here...

    http://www.nem0nic.com/key1.jpg

    The offset is the difference between the current speed of the song and it's original value. So it's not tracking changes in real time. But hey, you just have to make your adjustment and hit the button, right?

    Wrong. This is the freaky part.

    The Key offset is determined by the Speed section next to it.

    http://www.nem0nic.com/key2.jpg

    When you make chanes to the physical speed of the timecode source (using the pitch slider), the AUDIBLE change is instant. But the section highlighted in the key2 pic tracks that change SLOWLY over 2 or 3 seconds. You can see this value creep when you make changes in pitch. So, if you hit the Key Lock button before the Speed value has settled into it's final position, you'll introduce an INCORRECT OFFSET in the Key section.

    This is VASTLY inferior to the way FS2/TDJS handles key changes, and I'm sure to the way SSL's 1.7 key locking feature will as well. Another chink in the armor. Since this behavior is documented in the manual, we know it's a "feature" and not a bug.

    Hopefully M-Audio will see that this is NOT the way we want our key locking and will change this functionality in an
     
  7. nem0nic

    nem0nic Forum Member

    Messages:
    870
    ReWire Support

    ReWire works like it should. Using Ableton 5 and Torq, each application chases the other quickly and accurately. Audio routing also works as it should (although it took me a while to figure out how that worked).

    Only caviat I can add is that Ableton Live 5.03 didn't see the Conectiv ASIO driver, defaulting to DX/MME instead. The Conectiv audio driver was (and still is) installed properly, and Torq sees it correctly. Maybe a patch is needed.
     
  8. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,337
    Scratching relies on the pitch going up/down depending on TT speed, so it makes sense that the lock function would change when you switch to ext. control. But you'd think there'd be an easy override button.
     
  9. nem0nic

    nem0nic Forum Member

    Messages:
    870
    The problem is that this behavior breaks convention with EVERY OTHER "Key Lock" I know of - hardware or software.

    That's a major fumble in an otherwise naughty DVS.

    Hey Phill... Here's something for you.

    http://www.nem0nic.com/livetorq.jpg
     
  10. boysteve

    boysteve NI Product Owner

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    2,337
    The slow visual catchup has to be a bug, yah?

    I notice from the NAMM video that the wav display stutters (it even locks up for a few seconds at one point), and that I can hear a pop when he activates & deactivates most fx. Still pretty impressive, though.
     
  11. nem0nic

    nem0nic Forum Member

    Messages:
    870
    I get no stutter when triggering effects, and the display scrolls VERY smoothly. I would say that those bugs didn't make it to gold.

    I'm not sure if the slow update thing is a bug or not. But the whole thing doesn't make any sense to me at all - especially when the rest of the product is so well implemented. I'd love some confirmation but am not holding my breath.
     
  12. harry_Tf

    harry_Tf Forum Member

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    190
    now the question is since NI is dropping FS support, do I jump ship? I use only vinyl control and if theres nothing left for me in the future as far as upgrades to the current platform do I switch? I have the option from here to get torq right now and make the switch but my only concerns are the user interface and how much "surfing around" the interface it will take for me to find songs as i don't use playlists. so tonight i ponder making the switch.

    any suggestions would be apreciated.
     
  13. AudioRapture

    AudioRapture NI Product Owner

    Messages:
    2,892
    @harry: NI is *not* dropping the vinyl emulation from the feature list. 3.2 (and beyond) will continue to have an FS mode.

    Read the press release. It's all in there.
     
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